How stressed are your patients? Have a look at their teeth

At a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, researchers have revealed that tooth enamel layers are thinner if exposed to stress, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

Predicated on growing evidence, says the Dental Tribune, that exfoliated teeth are among the few parts of the body “that permanently record the history of environmental insults”, researchers studied children’s teeth to determine if there was a record of any stress experienced by them.

The stress in question was defined in wide-ranging terms including everything from family issues to problems at school through to physical and/or mental abuse, and even problems with persistent noise.

These stresses produced high levels of cortisol, the exact amounts of which are revealed by teeth whose development is hindered by the presence of high levels of the hormone.

For the full story, go to “Stress levels are reflected in teeth”

/ADA Public Release. View in full here.